Artificial Continuum

Friday, November 5, 2010

After the previous weeks lackluster Corruption the announcement that The Academy would act as a sequel to the much dislike episode was met with some initial dislike by fans of the series. Luckily, The Academy returns the series to where it needs to be.

Following the events regarding the tea smuggling ring, Satine requests help from the Jedi Council. With Jedi spread thin across the galaxy, padawan Ahsoka Thano arrives to help with the increasing corruption on the planet. Ahsoka begins educating some of the planets youth on the dangers of unpure politics, which ultimately leads to discovery of a deeper conspiracy then originally suspected.

Despite the fact that the episode follows never before seen characters, children in fact, it is surprising that The Academy works as well as it does. Unlike previous episodes, the plight of the characters is understandable and even relatable. Ahsoka once again steals the show acting as incredible mentor and teacher. All together she feels incredibly far removed from the head strong and rash Togruta we met at the beginning of the series.

The cast of children, including Satine's nephew, also work well. Their character's are surprisingly interesting and fit easier into the story line then other walk on roles like Baron Papanoida. However, their character models often feel awkward, and lack the fluid animation seen by most of the animated cast.

While once again lacking in action, The Academy's plot moves forward with surprising pace without ever feeling rushed. It's only issues come with predictability. The resolution to the mystery is painfully obvious even to the youngest viewers and robs the final revelation of any surprise or shock. The ending to the conflict also feels incredibly anti climactic and disappointing.

Despite its flaws, The Academy is a welcome return to a series that seems to be quickly losing its footing. While it is nowhere near as strong as the season's stellar premiere episodes, its strengths far out weigh its faults.